Tears in Your Beer: Gender Differences in Coping Drinking Motives, Depressive Symptoms and Drinking

Dawn W. Foster, Chelsie M. Young, Mai Ly N. Steers, Michelle C. Quist, Jennifer L. Bryan, Clayton Neighbors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study evaluates associations between coping drinking motives (CDM; drinking to regulate negative affect), depressive symptoms, and drinking behavior and extends the literature by also taking into account gender differences. Two hundred forty-three college students (Mean age = 22.93, SD = 6.29, 82 % female) participated. Based on previous research, we expected that CDM would be positively associated with drinking and problems, particularly among those higher in depressive symptoms, as individuals experiencing higher levels of negative affect (i.e. depressive symptoms) and who drink to cope are likely to drink more and experience more alcohol-related problems. Lastly, based on established gender differences, we expected that CDM would be positively associated with drinking and problems, especially among females higher in depressive symptoms. Unexpectedly, findings suggested that CDMs were positively related to peak drinking, especially among those lower in depressive symptoms. Results further revealed a significant three-way interaction between CDM, depressive symptoms, and gender when predicting alcohol-related problems and drinking frequency. Specifically, we found that CDM were more strongly associated with problems among women who were lower in depressive symptoms; whereas CDM were more strongly associated with problems among men who were higher in depressive symptoms. These findings offer a more comprehensive depiction of the relationship between depressive symptoms, CDM, and drinking behavior by taking into account the importance of gender differences. These results provide additional support for considering gender when designing and implementing alcohol intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-746
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 27 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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